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Renovation of the subsoil: the Archeoforum

The first construction site, co-financed by Europe, detailed the civil engineering works and the modifications needed to make the Archeoforum accessible to the public, Early 2000 to May 2001, work began under the supervision of Architect Daniel Boden in application of the plans done by Claude Strebelle. This first phase of the project included construction of a reception area, the adaptation and securitization of the technical access from the bus station tunnel on Place Saint Lambert, the erection of footbridges for visitors, piercing of a wall, and the creation of a tunnel connecting to the Tivoli block, plus a basement access from the Tivoli block with a staircase for visitors and a freight lift to evacuate the earth.

The second phase of the construction site started in January 2003 and ended with the inauguration of the site in November 2003. It consisted of putting in protective measures and works to enhance the vestiges (particularly air conditioning), the installation of an attractive layout using imagery techniques, light and sound, the creation of the ticket office, a boutique, a projection room and reception area as well as a path through the vestiges.

A call for offers was launched by the Walloon Heritage Institute for an exhibit designing company to develop the modernity of the site and to share the scientific and emotional experience with the public. The project chosen was designed by Yves Durand from Québec, representing his company “Experience International”. Yves Durand developed a concept based on the desire to explain this site and to let it speak for itself, by transforming it into a place accessible to the public. To achieve this, he used accurate information, the display of objects discovered on the site, strong audiovisual presentations, and above all, the participation of guides, as the moderators of the site.

The vestiges are at the heart of the museographic approach of the Liege Archeoforum, with “contemporary areas” stemming off them. The site is enhanced and enlivened by the presence of specialized guides fascinated by the history and heritage of Liege.